PORTLAND – Portland High, which began the baseball season as a young, inexperienced team, has grown up in a hurry.

Portland put together four straight hits to score three runs in the fourth inning, then held off Deering for an 8-7 victory Thursday in a Telegram League game at Hadlock Field.

It was the young Bulldogs’ second big victory; they beat Westbrook in their opener

Senior Adam Gould had two hits and two RBI, and freshman Caleb Fraser pitched a complete game for Portland.

The game ended with Portland third baseman Max Dismore making a sliding catch in foul territory.

“We grinded out this win,” said Portland Coach Mike McCullum. “My kids come ready to play. We had a tough nine-inning game with Massabesic (on Wednesday). We’re swinging the bats aggressively. We’re seeing a lot of fastballs in the early season because no one really knows us.”

The rest of the league is getting to know the Bulldogs.

Gould said the Bulldogs are young but talented.

“We have the potential to push right through to the end of the season,” said Gould. “We came in and knew we needed to get some hits and we did. We got the big hits when we needed them.”

Gould delivered a run-scoring single in the three-run fourth and an RBI double in the fifth.

The Bulldogs (4-1) then built their lead to 8-4 with two runs in the top of the seventh, enough to offset three runs by Deering (4-2) in the bottom of the inning.

Deering had a runner thrown out at third for the second out of the seventh.

“We weren’t mature mentally and it cost us some runs,” said Deering Coach Mike Coutts. “We have to find consistency in our effort. Portland hit and we didn’t.”

Having used Gould for 32/3 innings against Massabesic, Portland was down to Fraser, a right-hander, as its only available pitcher.

He threw strikes and hung in when the Rams hit the ball sharply in the seventh.

“Fraser pitched a heck of a game,” said Gould.

Portland took a 1-0 lead in the first when Ben DiBiase walked with one out, stole second and scored on a double down the left-field line by Rudy DiMillo.

Deering tied it in the bottom of the first when Travis Wade singled to right-center, stole second, moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch.

The Bulldogs took a 4-1 lead in the fourth.

They sent eight batters to the plate, bunching four straight hits — three singles and a double — to score three runs.

Gould drove in DiBiase, who had reached on an error — Deering’s first in three games. Scott Briggs doubled home Gould and Briggs scored on a base hit by freshman Kyle Reichert.

Gould knocked in a run with a double in the fifth.

Nick Volger, a freshman catcher, drew walks in the fifth and seventh, and scored both times for the Bulldogs.

Trailing 6-2 in the fifth, Deering came back with two runs. Jake Nichols had an RBI single. Jamie Ross and Devon Fitzgerald had RBI singles in the seventh.

“Coach asked us before the game if we wanted this and we said we wanted it with all our hearts,” said Gould. “We went out and got it.”

The Bulldogs overcame six errors to win.

“We definitely need to work on that,” said McCullum.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]